Congratulations, you’re alive. After a chapter or two of this microbe’s-eye-view of human history, it is tempting to wonder how our ancestors ever made it. Painful ends have been with us from the beginning, and it is a mystery how mauled, malnourished cavemen struggled on to become contagion-ridden city dwellers. Wherever there is life, Arno Karlen relentlessly shows us, there are parasites to feed off it and pathogens to snuff it out. The surprise is less that bubonic plagues and flesh-eating bugs should still be with us, but that we could ever have presumed to show them the sickroom door.
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Jan Morris, who died last week, was a much-loved contributor to our pages. In 2017, she wrote a characteristically witty article about the different winds, their various personalities and how they had touched her life: https://literaryreview.co.uk/let-it-blow.
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James Hogg—best known today for his amazing novel The Private Memoirs & Confessions of a Justified Sinner, which “voluptuously tormented” André Gide—died #OTD, 21 Nov, 1835.
In this @Lit_Review article, Alan Taylor visits Hogg’s birthplace in the Borders